TONY LA RUSSA: I bet you if you check
over time, when you have a real comeback win like
that, the next day you come out and you find it
hard to score. I just think the guys separated the
game. It's a four-win tournament here, and that
one's already in the book. We enjoyed it last night.
I think we just came ready to play and got the jump
How huge would you say the
defense was a part of the game tonight?
TONY LA RUSSA: Talk about Supp
pitching, our defense throwing a clinic, as well, all
over the park. But when a pitcher is pitching like
he does, he's making pitches, he's moving the
game along, you get that kind of response from the
defense. It's the goal of every starter to get
cranking like that because especially of the talent
of our defensive club, they will make plays.
Which of those plays was the best?
TONY LA RUSSA: I would say probably
either one of the two that Scott made. The
barehanded play was out of this world and then he
made another one on an in-between hop that
usually eats people up. David had some
outstanding plays and the play with Preston, the
catch and throwing the runner out. Those were all
above average. The two that Scott made, the
degree of difficulty were up there on a 10.
I know the job doesn't ever allow
you to think, we're really in control, but have
there been times where you can recall, times
you sat in the dugout, four or five innings and
looked around and said, tonight we're good,
tonight nobody's beating us, can you get that
mindset at all or you just can't even do it?
TONY LA RUSSA: Absolutely never.
Because not just the games that we're involved
with, but if you're a fan and you watch other
games, the game spanks you too many times.
You play against a lineup like the Mets, I mean,
every inning they came up there, you could see a
couple guys got on and somebody popped one.
So, never do you think that you're in
charge. Now, you know, all of a sudden you get to
the ninth inning, five-run lead, figured, wasn't sure
yet, but I thought we had a helluva chance.
What was your reaction to Supp's
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, sat in there with
a smile in the dugout. His comment, I heard he
thought it was going to be to the warning track and
I was surprised it carried that far. He actually is a
good hitter. I thought we got a one-run gift
somehow, some way.
How huge would you say the top of
the lineup was for you at the plate tonight?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, I thought
throughout, the top did a good job. Preston had a
good game. David got on, walked, single. Albert
did his usual thing, a couple of hits.
But I thought right through, we just had a
bunch of good at-bats. And we didn't break
through any more, and I think you've got to give
Darren Oliver a lot of credit. He shut us down. We
kept taking at-bats.
When did you make up your mind
about playing Rolen tonight?
TONY LA RUSSA: I penciled in lineups for
the first four games and he was in this one in
pencil and last night, once you get to start thinking
about it you get more serious. But you always wait
until the next day. It's one of those things, you
don't have to make out a lineup until you get to the
That's the neat thing about our club, that's
one of the things I like about our club, guys like So
Taguchi, Encarnacion, Chris Duncan that you
would like to have play, and they didn't play
because we have enough good players.
The way Spiezio is hitting the ball,
are you going to start using a pen there on the
lineup card a little bit or what are your thoughts
about what he has contributed here since the
end of the season and even before that?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, he's just
continuing what he did during the season. When
Albert went out, he played first base and we had a
winning record. When Scott was out, he played
third. This guy has done a great job that way.
I'm not sure he's playing tomorrow. You
know, there's a lineup to write there, and it's going
to be tough to get him in there. But you're tempted
to because he'll make something good happen.
How did Jeff's stuff compare tonight
to when he got you into the World Series in
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, you think about
it, he's won 16 two years in a row. This year he
had one of the best second halves of any National
League pitchers. So his stuff is there a lot. I think
it's just the moment. When you pitch a Game 7
against Roger in Houston -- today, we go up a
game in this thing. The significance of the game
makes it more special that he could take not just
his stuff, but his concentration, he was so focused
and kept making great pitches.
I think tie for first, that one and this one.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.